25" and change on the tape. Took Doug O's StoneDaddy for a ride. My saving grace on this fight was that she would explode downstream 25 yards and then bury herself in a pocket, giving me enough time to get downstream of her to keep the game going. This happened 4 times I can remember. She never came out of the water completely but in an effort to hustle she passed through some water only a couple inches deep exposing her back so I knew from that point on what I was dealing with.
I've learned not to horse in a fish like this, but I almost erred on the other end of the spectrum. We were both wiped. I know it's not cool to say this, but my heart was flying and I could feel the adrenaline in my legs. This may be just another fish for many, but for me it was pretty special.
I received another 24" gift two days later. She was in super shallow white water and took a hare's ear. I was pinned in the crotch of the river coming back together and unable to cross either direction so if she took off downstream, game over. Somehow I was able to keep her buttoned up in the slow stuff for over 10 short runs, rather than the usual one long sprint that leads to a break-up talk. Killer blue spot on the head and hands down the craziest red spots on the body I have ever seen on a Brown, big or small. Released in time for the fall spawn.
Grateful for an epic week on the river. One of many reminders recently about God's goodness in my life, the quality of my bride, and the great place I call home.